Archive for the ‘pay fair’ Category
“Makers” makes my mind spin
Doctorow pictures a future U.S. that has been in decline for some time. Big work for big corporations is long gone and poverty is the new normal. This is a future where giant empty boarded-up malls and Wal-marts invite ad hoc flea markets. And these flea markets now represent the best of commerce as they inhabit high-end retail spaces formerly occupied by the Macy’s and Nordstroms and the like.
After the new economy stripped away the old dependable jobs, the New Work movement sprang up with people recycling waste technology and creating mind-bending, highly specialized products that created their own markets. Cottage industries formed in communities small and large all over the country and people jumped their remaining corporate positions to pursue their own visions. And then it all fell apart. Again.
The book’s vision makes my head spin because of the visceral sense of work as creating and owning. The vividly drawn characters create and collaborate in ways that are very easy to picture, amidst the volatile conditions that already exist in our culture. Maybe it’s the ups and downs of these spirited characters that keeps me awake at night. Doctorow’s vision of the future is that of decline with a sharp aftertaste of humanity striving and living and sometimes succeeding.
I’m only halfway through, but the book has my attention. I may need to finish it fast so I can sleep again.
Anarchists organize for anarchy while pacifists plot their war on war. A church may promise a club-like space where everyone knows your name or it may work out the day-to-day look of those ancient texts that call for justice, mercy and rightness with the Creator.
At the moment, Occupy Wall Street is a BYOP (Bring Your Own Promise) event. But commentators and talking heads are showing up to frame up their version of the promise. Also showing up: opportunists, would-be pornographers, and anybody with a beef. Robert Reich took to the bullhorn Wednesday at Occupy San Francisco with his version of the promise: “I really do believe we are on the cusp of a fundamental change,” Reich said.
Maybe Occupy [whatever] is this generation’s 1968 moment. Maybe the greedy will be shamed into… what? Backing away from the system that hands out checks for the way they risk other people’s money? Maybe we are simply shining light on the scurrying rats of a corrupt and corrupting financial system. We also shine the light on our own culpability in a corrupt and corrupting system
The single, binding promise has yet to emerge. But certainly our conversation is different today. And that feels like progress.
Image Credit: SF Examiner